yes, wool seems to be the most popular fashion choice for today’s active wolf. It is the wolf version of “dress for success” if you will. Why is the well dressed wolf choosing wool over other fashion options? Simple – wearing wool allows wolves to live among those that they prey upon without being noticed and ousted before they have the opportunity to destroy their prey. Everyone is caught off guard when the attack comes because the enemy was dressed in the familiar clothing of kinship. The sheep didn’t recognize the wolf, they saw only another fellow sheep.
Lots of adversaries have taken this fashion advice right out of the wool-wearing wolves playbook. I was attacked just today by a technology wolf pretending to be someone else via email. The email appeared to come from two familiar, well known to me “friends” (for lack of a better word). PayPal was informing me about a purchase I had made from Land’s End. I recognized both names as trusted, familiar entities from my past and present experience. So no reason to look more closely at the email’s content, it was “dressed” correctly – except that I have not made any purchases in quite some time, from Land’s End or from anywhere else. So although the email looked legit, seemed like something that would be true of me, upon further reflection, I realized this must be an imposter! I had made no such purchase!
Why did they send me this email? What did they want from me? And who are “they”? Who sent me the phony email? Well, some wolf disguised as a familiar friend sent me the email. The objective? – to get me to “click here” if the info in the email was not correct (which it wasn’t) so that I could supposedly cancel the order I had never placed in the first place. In order to cancel the erroneous order, I would need to give them all sorts of my personal identifying and financial information (such as my credit card info for the refund). This friendly email acted as if it was trying to protect me and to help me get my money back from an order I did not place. This email came dressed as my friend, who is trying to help me out by righting a wrong done to me.
Ironically however, this email was really my enemy, trying to steal from me my money, my identity, and my personal information. I couldn’t see who they really were because they were wearing someone else’s clothes so they could get close enough to me to steal my information. This enemy in disguise seemed to have my best interests at heart, but their true intention all along was to harm me.
Sometimes I just don’t know who to trust anymore. There are a lot of wool-wearing people out there today. We used to call them posers or imposters or hypocrites. But whatever you call them, they all have one thing in common – they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are wearing wool but they are not warm and cuddly and cute and comforting. They are cold and callous, calculating and cruel. They are up to no good. Jesus even warned about them in Matthew 7:15-20 saying,
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
So I might not recognize my enemy based on his appearance, but if I watch carefully what he does and says, his behavior will give his true identity away. In other words, he may look like a sheep, what with all that warm woolly wool he’s wearing – but is he behaving like a sheep? That is the question. In John 10:10-15, Jesus talks about recognizing the difference between the real thing and an imposter,
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me – just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father – and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
Big difference between leaving the sheep to be devoured by the wolf and laying down one’s life to protect those sheep. Hope those sheep figured out who truly had their best interests at heart before it was too late. I would hate to find out I was following the hired hand when I could have been following the Good Shepherd all along. Yes, more wolves are wearing wool these days. Peter warned about this in his letter when he said,
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)
I need to be able to identify the wolves. Otherwise they could devour me. (I wrote about this in a post “identifying the enemy” awhile back) Fortunately John wrote to believers about this very issue. He said,
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:1-4)
Yes, there are a lot of wool-wearing wolves walking around in our world today. They are seeking to destroy and devour anyone who would follow them, anyone who does not see through their woolly disguise into their wily wolves’ hearts. Paul warned us about this danger when he said,
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
I want to follow only Jesus, who is the Good Shepherd and not to be enticed away by false figures, who appear to be as warm and soft as the wool with which they clothe themselves, but in reality prove to be as cold and hard-hearted as is the enemy of our souls. No, I will say with David,
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23)
sincerely, Grace Day